Solar Cells - Thin film solar cells

 

Solar cells (crystalline)

The currently used crystalline solar cells are typically sized at 10 x 10 cm2 (see photo). In order to produce standard-sized building elements the cells are processed into so-called solar panels or PV modules. The solar cells are also connected in series, to increase the voltage. As protection, they are encapsulated between glazed or acrylic panels.

Today’s solar panels generally have a surface area of around 1 m2 (e.g. 70 x 130 cm) and are 8-10 mm thick. A connection box is usually located at the back of the panel, allowing panels to be connected together. Standard solar panels are available with or without frame. Frameless solar panels, or laminates, can be treated the same as normal glazing, although special attention should be paid to the electrical cabling and preventing damp from penetrating the laminates. Laminates can be produced in any shape or form, though this costs extra.

Partially filling the solar panel with cells means that a number of transparent panels can be used to achieve a certain amount of transparency, though the efficiency per m2 is correspondingly lower.

The back (or underside) of the solar panel is usually coloured white, though this can be changed for large-scale projects. The total image is also determined by the size and colour of the profiles used.

 

 

Is China the future?

China, which is expected to double its demand for energy in the next 15 to 20 years, currently consumes 45% of the world’s fossil fuels. This will mean that an additional 45% of oil, gas, coal, and mineral resources will have to be found. In the 1970’s oil was changing hands at around $10 per barrel. Today, new fracking techniques (getting oil, rather than blood out of a stone) will cost at least $80 per barrel, and this cost will increase as the oil rich reserves are quickly used up.

 

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Solar Cell News

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